Hi y’all! Happy Saturday! I hope your day has been going well. You’re welcome to a new episode of The Spotlight. Last week, I featured a post by an Agnostic about God and David and David’s child by Bathesheba. An interesting discussion with the Authour followed. Do check it out in case you missed it.
Today, we are looking at the Church and Spiritual Abuse. By now, most of you should know my story, and know that I am presently unaffiliated with a Church. The lady whose post I am sharing also has a story of past abuse from the Church, and she uses her blog to share poetry and insightful pieces that help her and others to heal. I’ve been following her blog for a long time, and I would recommend it to any one else who may have had a bad experience with the Church, but are still walking with Jesus and seeking fellowship with other Believers.
She goes by the name Liz Tinnea, and blogs at www.ourunseenhope.com. Her tagline reads “Surviving Abuse In The Church”. The post I am spotlighting today is called “The Church After Spiritual Abuse“. It is a simple, personal piece about how she is moving on since the abuse she went through at her previous Church, and how the hardest part of the abuse was the loss of the Church Family which inevitably followed it. I can relate to her experience of loss, and the weariness to trust again. In a way, you are never the same after, but maybe you can be better for it!
Here is an excerpt from the post. Do visit and read the whole post, like, share and drop a comment as you feel led.
Recently, the pastor of the church our family has been visiting asked a simple question on social media looking for responses. He asked what is a church?
I realized as I read the question, that thinking about what the church is hits a painful place in my soul. There was a time I loved the church and what it represented. I looked forward to attending. I enjoyed serving and teaching. But most of all I valued the close relationships that had developed over time in the church.
If you’ve read the rest of my story, you know our family wasn’t able to stay in the church where we were spiritually abused even after the pastor was deposed. Even though some of the leaders in the church offered to help our family heal, there was too much damage and too many lies for us to stay.
So, have you read it? Can you relate? Have you have a bad experience at Church? Did you have to leave the Church, or were you able to work through it and maintain fellowship? How have you been able to heal and continue your Faith walk or did the experience cause you to lose faith?
Jesus said that trespasses will surely come, so we have to know that even in the Church, hurt will come. But what can the Church do to make sure that those who are hurt are not further hurt by negligence nor shaming, but receive the support to heal, trust and love again? Is this really a problem for the Church (an external entity or authourity besides ourselves) or for the individuals who make up the Church to resolve?
Let’s talk it over. If you are going through an issue at the moment, don’t be shy to email firstname.lastname@example.org. I may not be able to do much to help your situation, but I can listen, encourage and pray for you.
Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com
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Categories: Issues of Life, Series, The Latest, The Spotlight, True Religion
I’m not an atheist, just not christian anymore. Get it right and change how you referred to me in your post.
Hi KIA, you said you are an Atheist when it comes to the God of the Bible. That means you are an Atheist to me and Christians. But if you insist, I’ll change that to Agnostic. I hope that works for you.
An atheist regarding the god of the Bible is not an atheist in general. It’s dishonest to say so.
It’s just plain wrong to refer to anyone who is not your particular flavor of belief (christianity in your case) as atheist. What an ignorant, rude and condescending thing to imply. Especially if the person ( me in this case) has told you countless times that he is not an atheist in general, just in regards to the god of the Bible specifically.
Honesty dictates the change and the apology that should accompany it.
The correction has already been made. I’m sorry for the offence.
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Apology accepted. And thank you
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I appreciate you sharing a link to my blog! I’ve met other spiritual abuse victims who haven’t been able to go back to church, and I really do understand why. It is not uncommon to get hurt again, mostly because others just do not understand unless they’ve been through something really traumatic in the church and say things that just bring more hurt…like you just need to forgive or pastors make mistakes just like anyone else-yes I’ve heard both of those things! If in doubt about what to say to someone who has been traumatized by the church, listening and saying I’m so sorry is helpful. Also, making it a point to reach out again and invite them to continue to talk about whatever they need to is really beneficial. It’s very hard for someone like me to reach out to others in the church and tell my story, because its just such a heavy story and I don’t want to feel like a burden. I think it’s easy hearing a story like mine for others in the church to feel they need to fix it somehow, but I definitely don’t want to be fixed. I just to be heard. So the best way to help folks like me is to start by listening! God bless, friend!
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Thanks Liz! I appreciate you stopping over and sharing more of your experience with us! Yes, it can be hard for people who have not experienced such abuses to make excuses for the Church or Pastor or the people who offended. It is too easy to load blame and shame on the person hurting. I suppose it also hard for them to understand why years later it is STILL such an issue. But religion and spirituality cuts deep and when the healing has been slow, the hurt is deepened, and one’s personality and beliefs may have had to go through a major overhaul to cope. And your pain also becomes your message and point of contact…and so, it sort of stays with you. I guess the challenge is how to relate with those who may not understand, and only see the good in the Church, and to try to see things from their perspective. Those with positive experiences and those with negative all need to listen to each other, so that all our experiences are improved as we are more sensitive of each other and united in our witness of Jesus.
Thanks again 🙂 God bless you!
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i basically believe that many have turned to God when things go wrong, a church shouldn’t only be gone too when times are bad but also when times are well and all is going as planned. As catholics we have a lent season in order to as for forgiveness. but honestly speaking if both couples were attending the same ministry i doubt such if would have happened. Am not judging anyone just saying. hope you get consoled.
Thanks for reading and dropping a comment. I am not sure which couple you are referring to in your comment. Please clarify.